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About Horza

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    riots are tiny though / systems are huge

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    'Straya, love it or leave it!

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  1. Nicely done, RBPL. All known thread science informs us that a thread containing Stalin=Socialist? and Hitler=Christian? will attain critical mass and collapse into a superdense black hole of infinite disputation within 1.704 posts. In the interests of science though I must wonder what transformations this reaction would undergo if I raised the possibility that World War Two might have been prevented in its entireity if Germany had compulsory voting...
  2. U.S. Politics: Russian Around

    They're trapped. They promised their base they would repeal Obamacare, but then the base realised that Obamacare was the same thing as the Affordable Care Act, which they either like or at least prefer to pure freedom. Now, they could backtrack and it would probably be no huge deal, because like the wall, this was sort of a totemic thing more than a serious commitment. But that will break the grand bargain Trump has with Ryan and McConnell, who are beholden to the other wing of the Republican coalition, the one that's packed with the 'healthcare is a business, not a right' types and their deep-pocketed pals, who will raise hell if they don't use their control of two and a half branches of government to rip up Obamacare. Both wings are now tying themselves in knots because the unfettered power they've been given by the collapse of the Democratic Party is forcing them to try and realise their deeply unpopular ideologies.
  3. I think the way he sees it either way he'd be handing over the family firm to the neighbouring conglomerate, and he'd ultimately rather take his chances than have his prerogatives gradually and certainly eroded. North Korea is weak, dependent and vulnerable, but in some ways those are strengths for the Kim dynasty. Near-starvation keeps people too busy for politics and vulnerability means others take on the burden of propping up the regime because they fear the results of its collapse. It's a monstrous way to play a weak hand but it's worked for far longer than most predictions said it would.
  4. This is a common assumption, but it hasn't been true for about forty years. The first US and Soviet bombs were huge things because they were doing it from scratch and testing multiple design hypotheses in the dark. The theory and practice of building a fission device has got a lot more efficient since then, ending the need to begin your program by rebuilding Little Boy and Fat Man. The Pakistani nuclear program - which the NK program drew on, courtesy of AQ Khan - first tested with compact gas-boosted fission devices and it's quite possible that the low yield of the first few NK tests was due to misfiring attempts to replicate this approach. If so, they appear to have gotten over the technical hurdles, and last year Kim posed with a spherical mock-up about the size of a finalised, nose cone-fitting compact fission device, and with mock up KN-11 IRBMs. What could it all mean? That doesn't mean they actually have one that fits in a nose cone, but it's a strong indication that they are aiming for it, and they don't have to recapitulate the entire warhead family tree to get there. --- Re: first strikes, invasions and all that, I can't see any of that going well long term unless China signs off on it, and they won't because they don't want a US-aligned state on their border and/or Korean reunification. As such, some kind of Chinese intervention in the event of a crisis seems really likely to me, not that that wouldn't be fraught as hell either. That might even be why Kim had his older brother bumped off last night...
  5. U.S. Politics: Courting Trump

    Yeah, I want to congratulate the North Dakota legislature on narrowly not voting for the legalisation of official vehicular manslaughter, you guys really dug deep.
  6. U.S. Politics: Courting Trump

    What an astonishing three weeks.
  7. There are still a few areas where a deal could be done, such as nuclear test bans or rocket testing/development restrictions that could slow or limit the scale of their nuclear ambitions, but when it comes to a nuclear armed NK with IRBMs the ship has very much sailed.
  8. Historical Help: Munich 1938

    Weird, because right after Munich both French and British rearmament spending accelerated even faster, with a huge emphasis on Britain's part on fighter aircraft and radar. It's almost like they were anticipating some kind of... war, with a power much closer to them than the USSR... There's also that weird episode you keep somehow overlooking where they extended their full diplomatic support to Poland in April 1939. Munich took place over September-October 1938 while the Pact was signed in August 1939. I guess Stalin was a slow reader and he only fully processed it while hosting the Drax mission?
  9. Police Brutality, Paris

    While I don't think it's neccessarily connected to this particular case, support for the Front Nationale has been growing among the French police and armed services.
  10. Historical Help: Munich 1938

    Late to the party, but I feel like this is a big problem with a lot of pre-WW2 counterfactuals, in that it's really hard to think of a politically feasible pathway to a second Triple Entente. Not only would a renewed anti-German alliance require far more trust between all three powers than existed in the late 30s, but there's also the small issue of maintaning Polish sovereignty while obliging a massive Soviet offensive against Germany.
  11. U.S. Politics: It's Torture

    You're saying quite a bit about what liberal democracy is here, and I actually agree with much of the characterisation, if not the values thereby expressed.
  12. U.S. Politics: It's Torture

    I mean I appreciate the honesty in combining the reheated cold war totalitarianism paradigm with an honest preference for fascism over dreaded islamofascism, but how do you not get that your open society paradigm and its brave defenders PEDGIDA rest on self-same political violence to defend their arcadian groves? Honestly, I tend to think this line of yours is some kind of Captain Renault act, but it might actually be that you don't get that political violence is inherent to democracies, tyrannies, gerontocracies and church fetes. But then you go on to talk about how distant and unimportant Spencer getting punched is, when surely if political violence is injustice then injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. So I don't get it - are you a proponent of universal liberalism or just looking after your own little patch?
  13. U.S. Politics: It's Torture

    If there was a god I'd pray for the end of Weimar analogies. The basic thing everyone who wrings their hands over Weimar street violence ignores is that the reason it was counterproductive for the left fighting groups was that the judiciary had already picked a side, and it wasn't with them. The Weimar judiciary gave consistently lighter sentences to far right groups and consistently harsher ones to left groups for a reason, and it was the same reason a certain Austrian putschist served nine comfortable months of celebrity confinement for treason and wasn't deported at the end of his confinement. To the extent that people like Richard Spencer getting punched in the face is any kind of problem it's that the people who wring their hands at political violence seem not to notice all the manifest varieties of political violence commonly directed at people not like Richard Spencer.
  14. Aussies LXV - what choices have we?!

    Cos @karaddin asked: Sometimes your hand is so far up someone's arse that stabbing them in the back isn't really neccessary.